Lava from Hawaii volcano covers 8 square miles

Hawaii volcano update

Lava from Hawaii's erupting Kilauea volcano has destroyed more than 150 homes in a rural Big Island district, including that of Big Island Mayor Harry Kim.

But it may be revived 42 years later if lava continues to flow dangerously from Mount Kilauea, which began erupting more than a month ago.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says the explosion was associated with a Magnitude 5.5 quake. The lava produced a massive cloud of steam when it reached the ocean at Kapoho Bay on Monday.

Sgt. Gavin Ching of the Hawaii National Guard monitors sulfur dioxide gas levels near a lava flow on Highway 132 in Pahoa during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 3, 2018.

Footage has also now emerged of lava flow from fissures crashing into the Pacific Ocean in Kapoho Bay.

While local first responders searched for people trapped in their homes in isolated areas, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported that fewer than a dozen refused evacuation in an area electrical power, water and telephone service are inoperable. Lava has covered eight square miles.

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Hawaii County Civil Defense says Government Beach Road, between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road, is open to Waa Waa and Papaya Farms Road residents only with official credentials.

Another 2,000 people have already been evacuated from Leilani Estates, an area further west where dozens of homes have been devoured or cut off by rivers of lava streaming over the landscape since May 3.

Hundreds of homes on Hawaii's Big Island have been destroyed from lava oozing from the Kilauea volcano after an early morning explosion on Tuesday, according to officials. The crew landed and confirmed the three people had no cellphone reception.

In its report, the US Air Force said: "Modern aerial bombing has a substantial probability of success for diversion of lava from most expected types of eruptions on Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone, if Hilo is threatened and if Air Force assistance is requested".

Hawaii Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno has advised people to stand at least 1,000 feet back from the area.

In addition to volcanic particles that can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, residents were warned to be on the lookout for sharp, thin strands of volcanic glass fibers known as "Pele's hair," a reference to the Hawaiian goddess of fire. This eruption has lasted longer than the 1955 and 1924 eruptions, the USGS said.

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